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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


XACUR-GARCIA, Fiona; CASTILLO-QUAN, Jorge I; HERNANDEZ-ESCALANTE, Víctor M  and  LAVIADA-MOLINA, Hugo. Nutritional genomics: an approach to the genome-environment interaction. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2008, vol.136, n.11, pp.1460-1467. ISSN 0034-9887.

Nutritional genomics forms part of the genomic sciences and addresses the interaction between genes and the human diet, its influence on metabolism and subsequent susceptibility to develop common diseases. It encompasses both nutrigenomics, which explores the effects of nutrients on the genome, proteome and metabolome; and nutrigenetics, that explores the effects of genetic variations on the diet/disease interaction. A number of mechanisms drive the gene/diet interaction: elements in the diet can act as links for transcription factor receptors and alter intermediary concentrations, thereby modifying chromatin and impacting genetic regulation; affect signal pathways, regulating phosphorylation of tyrosine in receptors; decrease signaling through the inositol pathway; and act through epigenetic mechanisms, silencing DNA fragments by methylation of cytosine. The signals generated by polyunsaturated fatty acids are so powerful that they can even bypass insulin mediated lipogenesis, stimulated by carbohydrates. Some fatty acids modify the expression of genes that participate in fatty acid transport  by lipoproteins. Nutritional genomics has myriad possible therapeutic and preventive applications: in patients with enzymatic deficiencies; in those with a genetic predisposition to complex diseases such as dyslipidemia, diabetes and cancer; in those that already suffer these diseases; in those with altered mood or memory; during the aging process; in pregnant women; and as a preventive measure in the healthy population.

Keywords : Gene expression; Genetics, population; Nutrigenomics.

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